Zinovi Pavlo, a 58 year-old resident of Warminster, died on the scene of an accident on Street Road earlier this year when he was hit by a passing dump truck. Pavlo’s SUV had apparently broken down near Gravel Hill Road and he was outside the vehicle attempting to fix the problem when the accident occurred. Police say that, though Pavlo’s Honda Pilot was on the shoulder of the road, he was in the traffic lane when he was struck. The truck driver said he did not see Pavlo in time to stop his vehicle.
According to witnesses, Pavlo had his emergency flashers on at the time of the accident, and had lifted the hood of the vehicle. They say that Pavlo walked around his car and into the lane of oncoming traffic.
With a pedestrian accident in the middle of a roadway, where motor vehicles typically have the right of way, determining who is at fault is often more challenging. As a general rule, the question the court will be asked to answer is whether or not the parties were acting as a reasonable person would. In this situation, would a reasonable person walk out into the lane of traffic at this location on Street Road? What would be considered reasonable conduct if your vehicle becomes disabled on the road? Did the truck driver take reasonable measures in response to the emergency flashers on Pavlo’s vehicle? Was it even reasonable to expect the truck driver to see those flashers?
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